Blogging 101 Series: How to Make Money

In today’s installment of Blogging 101 Series, we’re tackling how to make money.  It’s sort of that white elephant in the room that everyone knows is a part of the blogging world, but that no one really wants to talk about (and especially not share details about).

blogging 101 series

Here is the lineup of lovely bloggers spilling the beans:

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Company

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Kristen from Bliss at Home

Emily from Emily A. Clark

and yours truly

When I decided I was going to start blogging, I knew there were bloggers making big bucks but I had no idea how.  I have a couple of good friends who are extremely successful bloggers and I asked if we could go to dinner to talk about blogging.  They both were so kind and shared soooooo much with me about the business of blogging but it was very hush hush.  The best way is to learn from someone else’s experience and that is why this series is so very helpful.

I’m sure the other ladies will tackle a lot of the ways to make money blogging, so I thought I would focus on the main way I make money and that is partnerships.  My site doesn’t have a ton of ads and that is by design.  Sure, if I had an ad every other paragraph I’m sure I would make more money, but Jon (husband) and didn’t like the look or feel of it.  I may eventually add a few more, but for now, I focus most of my energy for money making on building successful relationships with sponsors.

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How do you get a sponsor, you ask?  There are basically two ways to go about it– they reach out to you, or you reach out to them.  I have only done the latter a couple of times.  If you blog, and you’re doing quality work, sponsors will find you.

living-room-1

(my old living room, from a sponsored post with Kenroy Home)

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(my current bathroom, as part of a sponsored partnership with Kohler)

Now here are my three biggest tips for working with sponsors… drumroll please….

  1.  Brainstorm and come up with a creative way to make everyone happy.  Often sponsors have a list of things they want you to do, and often I’m not comfortable with things on that list.  I try to propose a great solution for everyone.  Often sponsors have no idea what you can do for them.  That’s why they’re coming to you.  You’re the expert, right?  Come up with a list of ways you can promote their product and provide great content for your readers.
  2. If it’s not a good fit or feels icky, say no.  This is hard when you’re first starting out because you’re like “well, I can make it work,” or “I’m broke!” but don’t do it.  It will dilute your product.
  3. Do a really good job.  Stay on top of communication so everyone is on the same page.  Provide an exceptional post and they’ll be happy and come back.

This last one isn’t on my tip list because historically I haven’t been the greatest at it (so I’m also telling myself this) but don’t be afraid to negotiate.  A dear friend of mine, Vintage Revivals, gave me some great advice to don’t be afraid to do things for free to build a relationship and I absolutely agree with that, but on the flip side, if you’ve built that relationship and they’ve been thrilled with you in the past, be bold and renegotiate terms.

There are more ways to make money (like affiliate marketing, etc.) but this is the main way I do it.  Here are a few examples of partnerships:

Kohler

Kenroy Home

Daybreak

And be sure to check out the other ladies in this series who offer sound advice we (myself included) can all learn from!

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Company

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Kristen from Bliss at Home

Emily from Emily A. Clark

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Comments

  1. It really is a collaboration every brand you decide to partner with. Each one is unique and different and there is no playbook for it. With that said, there is a great benefit to them partnering with you and if you tell them exactly what you can offer like you just said here it is worth them paying. xo

  2. I’ve enjoyed this series and am just now catching up on everyone’s posts. Question — when you reach out to brands, how do you do that? Have you contacted their media/PR department? Do you just pitch them an idea for a sponsored post or other partnership?

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